This past weekend I once again had the opportunity to attend one of the larger train shows here in my neighborhood. The United Northwes...
Locomotive Roster: DB Class 44; Minitrix 12449
This is my most recent addition to my growing N Gauge roster, the Minitrix 12449, which is an oil-fired steam locomotive known, apparantly, in Germany as the Class 44, but better known in the US as a 2-10-0 configuration.
The features of this model are that it already comes with a DCC chip installed with Sound! I posted a video of the locomotive in action:
My impressions: PROS: - Sound is not only remarkable for this scale and this locomotive, but Marklin/Minitrix went the extra step with this model to give it 'smart sound', in that it will automatically make sounds and change over time as it sits idle, or will reduce / stop the 'chugging' sound as it coasts. Really well done. - Operation so far has been excellent, although I've only run it for a couple of hours. The real test will be how it works in a year or two from now... - Detail/construction: The detailing looks very nice as well. Additionally, the body is die-cast metal, so it is hefty and solid and feels like a quality item that can pull a long string of hoppers!
CONS: - Really, its the price, but you get what you pay for. I've barely had this locomotive running for a week, so still far too early to know if there is any issue to be surprised with as it ages. I expect to report back if my opinion of this item changes, but given the apparent quality and price tag of this item, my expectations at this point are quite high.
I'm into N Scale to have fun. Growing up my Dad was really big into HO (U.S.A. of course, mostly Western U.S. roads like Great Northern, Milwaukee Road, Northern Pacific, etc...) and he built me a small N Scale layout which I enjoyed as a small boy. Of the various trains I had at the time, the brand 'Minitrix' stuck in my head. As the years passed, N Scale was forgotten as new interests took my time.
As a new parent, I got back into model trains through O Gauge (Lionel and MTH). However, the cost of this scale, and the space needed for the sort of layout I wanted, made it a very frustrating hobby. Then one day at a hobby shop in California, I came across the Trix 2003 catalog; Inside this catalog were beautiful models of trains across Europe shown on beautiful layouts - and I was converted! It took a few years, but most of the O Gauge was sold (or stored) and I used the funds to start my new fantasy in N Scale.
Soon, I also discovered the amazing trains of Japan in N Scale, and begin my quest to build an interesting urban layout in a complete fantasy setting where the great trains of the world can run side by side!